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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

March Day-by-Day: How Flight Cancellations Rose to 17%

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The charts and Excel table below show the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as the month of March transpires. The March 2020 flight cancellation rate —17% of flights were canceled— is the highest since September 2001, when 20% of flights were canceled.

The first chart shows only the number of flights canceled each day throughout the month. It makes clear the dramatic rise that begins to tick upward in the month's second week then increases more steeply in the month's later weeks.

The chart below shows the increasing number of flight cancellations in the context of the declining number of flights departing as the month advances.

For your further analysis, BTS presents below the Excel table of flights scheduled, flights canceled, and the cancellation rate for "All Carriers" and for individual carriers.